Up to 8 inches of snow at Fort Hill near Round Lake

A late report of 8 inches of snow has come in from Lake County, Illinois near Round Lake. radar continues to show bands of heavy snow across portions of Lake and northern Cook counties . Overall there has been a trend for the snow to increase through the afternoon hours as lake-enhancement adds extra moisture to the storm system.

Several more inches of snow are expected to accumulate across the area as evening approaches.

Snow starting to pile up in north suburbs as lake-enhancement kicks in

Visibilities have been dropping below 1/2 mile across the northern suburbs much of the afternoon and latest radar trends show a band of strong snow returns setting up along the west shore of Lake Michigan as the lake-enhancement phase of this storms begins to set in.

In Northbrook snow totals have reached 5.3 inches and to the north in Wisconsin a rash of 5-7 inch storm totals are being reported.

At 2:30 pm the visibility had dropped to 1/4 mile at both Kenosha and Wheeling, indicating heavy snow was occurring. 

Snow continues… heaviest snow falling from north suburbs into southeast Wisconsin

Snow continues across the Chicago area this afternoon with the heaviest fall occurring across north sections of the metro area from Lake and McHenry counties north into southeast Wisconsin where visibilities have been consistently holding to 1/2 mile or less indicating a moderate to heavy rate of snowfall.

The snow should continue through the afternoon and tonight with substantial accumulations still expected. Latest radar trends show snowfall increasing in intensity in a band along the west shore of Lake Michigan, a sure sign that lake enhancement in beginning.

Snow increasing across north portion of the metro area

Shortly after 1 pm latest radar trends indicate that snowfall intensity is increasing across the north portion of the metropolitan area. Visibilities have dropped to 1/2 mile or less  in areas from southeast Wisconsin to the northern suburbs of Chicago. This increase in snowfall intensity is a result of  added atmospheric lift as an upper level low moves east across central Illinois and a trajectory of air across Lake Michigan from northern Indiana  and southern Lower Michigan gaining access to lake moisture.

Conditions should continue to deteriorate through the afternoon as the snow increases with several inches of additional accumulation expected especially in areas near Lake Michigan.

Some fairly large snow totals are being reported from southeast Wisconsin

Pewaukee 6.0 inches

Merton 4.9 inches

Milwaukee 4.9 inches

Caledonia 5.5 inches

Sullivan 4.2 inches

 Some late reports from the Chicago area

McHenry 4.0 inches

Gurnee 4.0  inches

Elmhurst 3.7 inches

Latest snow trends and totals

Moderate to heavy snow continues fall across the north portion of the Chicago area  with visibilities at 1/2 mile or less at West Chicago, Waukegan, wheeling and Kenosha. To the south visibilities range from 3/4 to 1 mile indicating somewhat lighter snowfall.

The snow began across most of the aerea around midnight last night so it has been snowing now for about 12 hours with totals in the 2 to 4 inch range. 

Chicago area storm totals so far

O’Hare Airport 2.7″

Midway Airport 3.5″

Elk Grove 3.1″

Rockford 5.7″

Romeoville 2.9″

St. Charles 3.5″

Arlington Heights 4.0″

Here are some storm totals from northwest Illinois and eastern Iowa

Macomb  IL 5.0″

Shannon, IL 4.0″

Colchester, IL 5.5″

Belle Plaine, IA. 7.0″

Burlington, IA. 8.0″

Iowa City, IA 6.5″

Noon Storm Update

If you like snow, the news is good.  The storm is progressing well and the expected snowfall totals appear to be right on track as of the Noon hour.  

The snow has ended for the time being in some locations southwest of Chicago.  This break in the precipitation appeared to be headed for Chicago, but it won’t quite make it.  That’s because the upper level low which is one of the forcing mechanisms for snowflake development, is starting to drift east.  This will allow the snow area to pivot around the low pressure, keeping most communities north of I-80 in the thick of the storm.  


Here is what you can expect for the rest of the day

Through 3PM:  A steady light to moderate snow will continue across most of the Chicago area, especially north of I-80.    Travel conditions will slowly deteriorate as the snow begins to pile up.

4PM to 9PM:  As winds increase and begin to swing from the east to the northeast, bands of heavy “lake enhanced” snow will develop over Lake (IL), Cook and DuPage Counties, resulting in very slick and snow packed road surfaces.   Periods of severely limited visibility are also likely in the heavier snow bands. 

6PM:  Storm accumulation by 6PM will be in the 5″ to 8″ range. 

9PM:  Periods of snow continue, heavy at times within 10 miles of Lake Michigan.  Winds will  increase to 20 to 35mph, resulting in considerable blowing and drifting of the light, fairly fluffy snow.   Travel may become downright dangerous as blizzard or near blizzard conditions will be possible in open and rural areas, especially along and south of Interstate 80.   

6AM Wednesday:  Total storm accumulation of 8″ to 12″.  A few locations may see up to 14 inches. 


Legend for map below:

Winter Storm Warning:  Red

Winter Weather Advisory:  White

Blizzard Watch:   Counties outlined in pink

WGN Weather Center 7 Day Forecast